Mercedes-Benz has been jumbling up the letters of some of its models in recent years, and the SLC shows Mercedes isn’t afraid to continue jumbling things up. The letters SLC were originally on a hardtop 2+2 variant of the SL-Class convertible, sold in the U.S. and Europe in the 1970s and early ’80s. The new car has a (retractable) hard top, but no rear seats. Eventually this will all make sense, but for now, confusing alphabet soup is confusing.
A New AMG Model
The Mercedes SLC 300 is basically the SLK 300, and features a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4, because Mercedes-Benz has just stopped caring if the letters and numbers actually make sense. This engine makes 241 horsepower sent to the rear wheels, sent through a 9-speed automatic transmission. If you crave more power, the new Mercedes-AMG SLC 43 offers a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 making 362 horsepower and 348 pound feet of torque. No word if there will be a hotter V8-powered model, a la the predecessor’s SLK 55 AMG variant.
For the 2017 model year, the Mercedes SLC smooths out some of the angles of the outgoing SLK, and adopts the latest design language found on other Mercedes-Benz models. It departs from the SL’s weird “Eagle Eyes” design language and goes with the elegant yet rakish E-Class Coupe-style headlights. Out back things are largely the same, which is fine, as the derriere of the SLK did not need any meddling.
Unfortunately, Mercedes-Benz only made some minor updates to the interior. That is not to say it is not attractive, but the cluttered center console remains. Considering how Mercedes-Benz has been moving towards far cleaner interiors in its other models, this is kind of a bummer. Hopefully in the yeas to follow,they will remove the unnecessary number pad and move towards a cleaner design.
Lots of Goodies in a Small Package
It might be the smallest convertible in the Mercedes-Benz lineup, but it’s big on features. The driver can pick the feel of their ride using the Dynamic Select system. Drivers can chose from Comfort, Sport, Sport+, and Eco modes which alter the engine, transmission, steering and suspension tuning for each mode. There is also the available Magic Sky Control, which features a glass roof that can be lightened or darkened with the push of a button.
Pricing and Availability
No word yet on price yet, but if the outgoing 2016 Mercedes-Benz SLK is any indicator, the base SLC 300 should cost around $47,000 and the V6 model will probably start north of $60,000. We’ll know for sure on pricing and availability when the car debuts next month in Detroit at the 2016 North American International Auto Show.